Name: Bobby Leitham
Alias: Verdun Flash-George LaRocco
Hometown: Verdun, Quebec, Canada
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: 1982-07-27 (Age:76)
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record
Trainer & Manager: Sammy Gibbs
Bobby Leitham Photo Gallery
The exact date of birth of Bobby Leitham is uncertain. He reportedly had 54 amateur bouts, and became the Amateur Flyweight Champion of Canada (1925-26), winning that title at Winnipeg, April 29, 1925. He then lost to Sammy Chernoff, Jan 10, 1927, in 3 rounds at New York City. He later became the Canadian Bantamweight Champion.
He and former World Bantamweight Champion Pete Sanstol had a much-publicized trilogy, as summarized here. After being knocked out twice by future World Bantamweight Champion Sixto Escobar, Leitham announced his retirement when a scheduled bout with Eugene Huat was called off. (Per The Ring, Dec. 1934.)
He later worked as a referee and judge in Montreal from the 1930s to the 1970s.
He married Ethel Gordon, and then Celine Pinet. He had two daughters: Joyce and Doreen. One of his wives was the sister of fellow Montreal boxer Frankie Martin's wife.
According to The Ring, June 1938 issue, Leitham had "not been enjoying the best of health. [H]e was laid up for nearly a whole winter with a serious attack of pleurisy and left the hospital with one of his legs affected somewhat.... Bobby took on weight at an alarming rate, getting rather portly... he has just got out of the hospital again after an operation for acute appendicitis... it takes a lot to keep Bobby down just as he was a gritty ringman...."
Leitham died at Royal Victoria Hospital (Montreal). Services were at A. F. Wilson & Sons Funeral Home at 5784 Verdun Avenue and St. John Brebeut Church. He is interred at Coie des Neiges Cemetery, Montreal.
10/23/33 Syracuse Journal: "Bobby Leitham, Canadian bantamweight champion, will arrive in Syracuse Wednesday night to complete his training preparations for his 10-round bout Friday night at the Arena with Pedro (Robleto)Lorenzo, Filipino boxer.Leitham will work out Thursday afternoon at Jack McCann's gym. Frankle Flore and Frankie Martin,Montreal boxers, , who also appear on this card, will work with the Canadian champ who used to box in the amateurs under the name of George LaRocco two years ago.Since turning pro Leitham has been going great guns. He won the title from Joe Villeneuve In 1932 and has fought practically every leading bantamweight In the world with success. The one bad mark on his record is a defeat at the hands of Pete Sanstol, Norwegian champion. Leitham recently returned from a campaign that took him to the West Coast, and from there to England where he won from Johnny King,British champion, in historic old Alberts Hall, London. Last month he defeated Midget Walgast, world's flyweight king, at Montreal before 7.000 fans.He has defeated among others since becoming the champion: Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Thomas,Ernie Peters, Archie Bell, Newsboy Brown. Willie Davies, Steve Rocco and Speedy Dado."